Federal Information Technology (IT) Minister Syed Aminul Haque on Wednesday said that popular social medial platform TikTok is willing to open its offices in Islamabad with negotiations having been completed successfully and hinted that another major social media platform was also willing to come to the country.
He said this while addressing a ceremony in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Pointing to the government’s desire for social media companies to open their offices in the country, he said that TikTok was one with which talks had been successful and that the platform may soon open offices in Islamabad.
TikTok is not part of a collective of social media platforms operating in the region which has resisted government efforts in recent years to exert greater, direct control over what goes on the platform.
But another major social media platform which is part of the collective, he hinted, has expressed its willingness to open offices in Pakistan.
With the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) part of the ruling coalitions of the three recent-most governments in the country, Haque took credit for effecting necessary legislation that had opened the doors for several major smartphone manufacturing companies to invest in Pakistan and start domestic assembly of phones, if not their outright manufacture.
“17.9 million mobiles phones were produced locally in 12 years,” he informed.
With a spike in the demand for phones accompanied by demand for greater connectivity, Haque said that investment has been made to provide better broadband connectivity.
He said over the last four years, some Rs65 billion have been spent to connect the unserved and underserved areas across the country with the digital world.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman Maj General Amir Azeem Bajwa said that JSM (Global System for Mobile communication) costumers can buy smartphones on easy installments.
He said 55% of people around the world are using mobile internet while in Pakistan this ratio stood at 57%.
“The GSM has reported that 50% of people are using smartphones in Bangladesh,” he said.
He further added that in Pakistan, some six million broadband subscribers have been added since 2018 alone, while broadband subscribers have increased from 5 million to 10 million.
The minister said that PTA’s DIRBS system has proven to be a game changer as this system blocks phones with stolen or duplicate IMEIs and provides a level playing field to mobile manufacturers.
Google will open its offices in Pakistan
With another good news from the tech sector and opportunities to unfold with it, Senator Afnan Ullah announced on Wednesday that a Google team would be visiting Islamabad in December to begin operations in the country.
Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) Senator also mentioned that once it happens, 15,000 Pakistani citizens will receive scholarships.
A Google delegation would be visiting the country on December 11, he added.
The senator also said that all necessary paperwork was okayed by Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) last week.
In order to help the people of Pakistan acquire the knowledge and digital skills they need to succeed in today’s economy, Google launched Career Certifications at the beginning of September.
Google has pledged 15,000 scholarships by the end of the year through local partners IRM and Ignite, which are made up of educational institutions, industry partners, and nonprofits as part of its mission to Unlock Pakistan’s Digital Potential.